Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A little snow

Wow the roads were a mess this morning. Last night around 7pm we got about an inch of snow, maybe a little less. I was listening to the ham radio last night and some folks were out driving in it, the roads weren't that good. This morning it was still pretty bad. There were major accidents on I270, and 2 on US 15 which I take to get to work. It wasn't a lot of snow, and it was snow, not ice, but it sure did make a mess of the roads. Tomorrow they are calling for ice and snow, now that should make for an interesting commute.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More on Script Logic

I guess I should provide some more detail about my scriptlogic problems, and I’ll through in a little bit more about why it just doesn’t work for me in my environment.

The organization I’m contracted is running with about 4,000 desktops on the domain that I manage. A little over a year ago, script logic was upgraded to version 6.52 and when customer started logging on, they were receiving some errors and their drives weren’t mapping. This was my first real experience with scriptlogic and it wasn’t good. It was decided recently to upgrade to the latest version 6.60. Recalling the problems that were experienced the last time, I contacted support for some guidance on the installation. The technician I spoke with assured me that simply running the product setup and installing it over the existing installation on the server would work. That didn’t happen. Almost immediately after the install, customers were getting these errors during logon: “The global variable file is not correctly signed and will not be processed!” & “The profile list is not correctly signed and will not be processed!”. I called support again, after troubleshooting for two and a half to three hours, we finally found the cause. The script logic binaries in the domain controller netlogon were not being updated when we told script logic to replicate, even though the servers would report a green check, which I took to mean that all of the files in the slscripts$ folder had been copied to all of the netlogon folders. I was pretty sure that the problem was solved, but then I got a call from one of the IT guys in one of our larger business units, they were still getting the error, even though it seemed to be working for everyone else. This group has a slightly modified desktop image with more security than most of the organization. I was able to resolve this in about an hour without contacting support by adding the script logic service account to that unit’s global group configured for their IT department.

The support technician that helped me resolve the problem was very helpful. It did take a while to get to the root cause, but the troubleshooting method was pretty thorough. Checking the version of the binaries in the netlogon folder should probably be up there on the list of things to check when getting these errors. But I’m no expert on the product, all of the steps we took to get there made sense.

Now, on to why I don’t really like the product or at least the implementation in our environment.

Scriptlogic, which seems to have been renamed, Desktop Authority Express would have been an awesome product in the mid to late ninety’s into the early part of this decade for those who continued to use Windows NT 4.0 domains. I don’t know much about the product’s history, but I expect that is exactly when the product was introduced. It looks like a powerful product to manage desktop settings, from simple registry changes to complete application configuration management, while NT4.0 had policy files and the policy editor, implementing them in an enterprise environment wasn’t exactly easy, if at all possible. Script logics functionality definitely filled a need back then. Microsoft fixed the NT 4.0 policy mess in Windows 2000 with Active Directory & Group Policy Objects, which provided much of the functionality that scriptlogic provided natively.

Scriptlogic is also pretty good at mapping drives, adding network printers, & running commands when a user logs on. This is all the organization I’m with uses it for, with the exception of a few registry settings, all of which can be accomplished with a couple of fairly strait forward scripts without the overhead of installing extra services on the domain controllers and all of the workstations, and certainly without the problems associated with managing and maintaining these services.

It could be just because I like the keep it simple method of systems management. I think to myself “why use a third party tool to do something that is already built into my operating system? It would be just one more thing to manage”

I Hate ScriptLogic

Once again, I'm working late on an issue with a software package that is way more complex than what it needs to be. Back before Windows 2000 and Group Policies, it was fairly useful, but now, it is just a lot of overhead. And when it doesn't work right, it takes forever to troubleshoot and fix. An actual logon script would be a lot easier to manage in the long run, if it didn't work, you could open the script in your favorite text editor and find the line that it was causing the error, and fix it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Madden 2007 Cheating

One of Amy's gifts to me for Christmas was Madden 2007 for Xbox. I've enjoyed playing the game lately. But I would often get frustrated when I couldn't accomplish particular feats in the game. Like, 40 rushes with one player, or complete a pass to 7 different receivers in a game. I decided to play a game against the CPU Cologne Centurions (I always play as the Baltimore Ravens). I figured it would be pretty boring, but decent practice, and more fun than the mini camp practice. I was right, it was a little boring, until I realized that I was getting close to 100 points, actually, I think Amy pointed that out, then, the game got fun, there were about 2 and a half minutes left and I needed 21 points to get to 100 exactly, I abandoned the run for the most part and went to the air. I ended up winning the game 108 to 0, and I even managed to achieve the goal of completing a pass to 7 different receivers.

Last night I played against the CPU Amsterdam Admirals, the goal, 40 rush attempts. That was a much lower scoring game, but fun. I was also trying to run back a punt for a touchdown, but just about every punt was a shank and went out of bounds about 10 yards down field. The hard part was actually running enough plays on a short field to get my rushing attempt total up!

So, playing these NFL Europe teams with the Ravens is cheating, it is still sort of fun. I need to play the Colts, to simulate (LOL) Saturday's playoff game.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years Resolution

I'm not much for new years resolutions, but I've decided that I want to post at least 4 blog entries per month in 2007. I'm already betting against myself, lets see if I can actually do it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Family Picture

Little Pictures

I've updated the pictures at the top of my blog. Ok, so I didn't really update them, I just replaced the picture of Kitty with a picture of Zoe, but the important thing is, now there is a picture of Zoe.